Mom! I think I want to be an actor said my older son. I said, did you know Ashton kutcher studies biochemical engineering? Also remember“Harold & kumar” actor, Kal Penn has an undergraduate degree in movie making from UCLA? May be we should think about you doing a semester in acting to check it out…a while later he said Mom, I think I want to write a blog or something…my answer is you know you are really good at writing. You write all those fantastic essays, and you have English honors from school I think you can write a book if you wanted to. The message is you can be or do whatever you really want. Finally at the end of our conversation I said well! Anyways you know, you have all your life, a very long life you can do all these things and much more there is absolutely no rush. I never seriously asked good grades from him but I definitely wanted him to have an aptitude for learning, an open mind to change and accept, adapt to new things. I believe my mother did the same. She was very gentle knew to navigate and steer her children’s lives into the right direction in education and career planning. I see this similarity and active participation in almost all the American and Asian parents around me.
At the moment I am teaching my five-year old boy, numbers. He is just simply more interested in learning numbers and writing numbers than writing words, phrases and sentences. I said ok let us make a deal you do have to do basic home work (writing), whatever the teacher is expecting you to do for school, then you can learn and spend more time learning numbers, writing numbers, reading, whatever you really like to learn. My purpose here is I want the learning process for him to be easy, cool, fun, and enjoyable, just having a good time with mom. Anything he learns in the process, he is well appreciated. No rewards or stars really. I didn’t expect him to read books but he is reading and at a good level, his teacher is very happy. I am his teacher assistant in helping the little one learn, I am very sincere about it, I learnt this trick from my mother. His teacher is my best friend and adviser. I attend parent meetings, note down what is the year-end expected performance level, what needs to be taught for math, English, science, general studies and him and I spend time every day learning it. We do way more than what the teacher expects. Later on it becomes a habit into something like my older son did sort of do five college courses in his twelfth grade apart from regular school work. He said he figured a way to go about it and it was something he can cope.
I have always considered my mother to be my first teacher, best teacher and career coach. First, she invested a lot of time, attention and was very consistent. I am still surprised how she could handle being a full-time working, single parent and think, plan, worry about careers for three boys and a girl. I have a strong role model to look up to. Bottom line is there is no rocket science in good parenting or Indian/Asian parenting other than having complete confidence in your child’s ability, investing a lot of time, attention, having a clear and creative mind to help your child and being very consistent about it. Don’t you agree? what do you think? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading my blog by the way 🙂